Monday Morning Musings

powerfulwomenreaders

Back in the summers of ’83 and ’84, I had the opportunity to lead a workshop on teaching poetry to a group of fourth through sixth grade teachers from small schools all over Texas. My theme song throughout this workshop was that nothing kills an appreciation or love of poetry quicker than arranging it as a “poetry unit”. To me, poetry should be an integral part of the curriculum, not only the language arts curriculum, but the entire academic curriculum.  I feel that poetry is felt most effectively when it occurs spontaneously, ingeniously, and naturally.

In the elementary school, especially, the recognition or celebration of occasions can be marked through poems of occasion.  Although much bad poetry has been written about “Holidays, “some good holiday poems exist.  However, merely remarking on what day it is we are celebrating and then reading the poem seems rather artificial and an isolated way…

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Some Miscellaneous Quotes About Writing

powerfulwomenreaders

These quotes really resonated with me.  I hope you will enjoy them too.  They are not arranged in any particular order.

“Writing is a kind of revenge against circumstances too: bad luck, loss, pain.  If you make something out of it, then you’ve no longer been bested by these events.”    Louise Gluck (author and poet, born 1943)

From my text in my Advanced Writing Class On Writing Well 31st anniversary edition by William Zinsser: “[This] thing is true of writers.  Sell yourself and your subject will exert its own appeal.  Believe in your own identity and your own opinions.  Writing is an act of ego, and you might as well admit it.  Use its energy to keep yourself going.” p.23

“I express myself with my friends and family.  Novels are not about expressing oneself, they’re about something beautiful, funny, clever and organic.  Self expression? Go and ring a bell…

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5 hints to make reading poetry more enjoyable

Business in Rhyme

5-hints-to-reading-poetry

As much as I do believe that technology has given us a lot – a sort of commodity and easiness in our lives, it is also taking from us. We are becoming more accustomed to live fast, do as much as possible while some little enjoyable things flash in a split second, that we are forgetting how they used to feel.

Scrolling down the silver screen, just superficial browsing of information without any deeper thought of what we are actually reading has transferred also on other types of written media. When it comes to poetry – it does require your whole being’s attention.

As discussed here on why people don’t like poetry, I want today to offer you some pointers that might help you enjoy reading poetry even more and discover other poets who’s work sometimes stays undeservedly neglected.

  1. Read the poem more than once. If possible, even try reading…

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MONDAY MORNING MUSINGS(on Wednesday)

powerfulwomenreaders

Monday morning fell on a Wednesday this morning, primarily because my total thoughts, actions and life has been busy thinking about and preparing for My Better Half’s birthday yesterday.  It was a celebration for two, but involved cooking his favorite meal and was full of many gifts and greetings from family and friends.

Again I’ve been browsing through my old Graduate School poetry anthology, and tucked into the back was a folded piece of paper, an old essay test.  It consisted of one question, “What is Poetry?” As was my habit many times on compositions, I turned the theme into something I thought the professor would pause over and wrote the following:

What Poetry Is Not

Poetry is not “an expression of pure emotion,” a definition I learned in high school. It does deal with emotion…sometimes. It is not the beautiful statement of some high truth. Instead, it is that…

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PWR NEWS

powerfulwomenreaders

The following books are “assigned” for the next quarter of the PWR (Powerful Women Readers) on-line book club.  All are available at public libraries and  second hand or new through Amazon. All except Sea Change are available in paperback. I chose these three books because they were all on my TBR (To be read) shelf in my book closet.  I have been wanting to read these books for a long time.  Some come recommended by friends, others by other book clubs.  You should pick one of the three to read by our next get-together which should be in approximately three months.Get a copy or copies and get started this weekend.

Let’s begin with Sea Change by Frank Viva, a prominent artist and designer who lives in Toronto.  This is a children’s book that is not your usual children’s book, nor is it illustrated like conventional children’s books.  Looking at the…

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Reading Diverse Books is the First Step to Healing Our Country.

The Long and Short Stories of Life

For a curious little girl, books opened a world of wonder to me. I especially loved fiction and fairy tales because I was blissfully hopeful and I believed in happily ever after. I enjoyed storytellers like The Brothers Grimm and Aesop because, even as a child, I was unconsciously studying style. Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and I had some exciting times together. I cavorted with the “Little Women” of Louisa May Alcott and hung out on the streets with Oliver Twist.

I devoured good writing, paying little attention to what color the characters were. Except for the occasional mention of blond hair or blue eyes, I didn’t dwell on the characters being white. Our mutual quests for love, happiness, fair play, and equal treatment were basically the same. I grew up being a reader of diverse books. In fact until I went to college, I hadn’t even picked up…

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Monday Morning Musings

powerfulwomenreaders

Today’s thoughts are on books.  Books, Books, and more Books. Here are a few quotes I’ve collected over the years about books:

“A little library, growing every [day]/year, is an honorable part of a man’s history.  It is a man’s duty to have books.”    Henry Ward Beecher

“I cannot live without books.”    Thomas Jefferson

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?”    Henry Ward Beecher

“When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus

“If you cannot read all your books…peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from them the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are.  Let them be your friends; let them be your…

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